Crystal Balling 2024: Tech Trends Fuel Marketers Need to Know to Stay Ahead of the Curve

FleetPanda

Why dispatch software is easier to implement than ever

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Many fuel marketers recognize the need to modernize their operations to drive growth. “Lack of automation is one of the biggest risks we’re running in our attempt to scale operations and overall business,” said Perry Taylor, former President of Houston-based 3L Energy Solutions.

But fears of an expensive, disruptive implementation hold many distributors back from investing in dispatch software.

Fortunately, modern dispatch software solves the problems of legacy solutions. That includes shortening implementation to weeks, sometimes even faster.

In four days, 3L Energy Solutions launched FleetPanda across 50-plus trucks in its transport and tank wagon lines. Now with its fuel operations centralized on one platform, 3L plans to grow in Texas and nationally.

Here’s how modern dispatch software makes it possible for petroleum distributors like 3L to rapidly scale their operations and grow.

Cloud-based deployment means no hardware 

Modern dispatch software is easy to implement because it runs on your existing computers and mobile devices. All you need is an internet connection.

It took only three days for McNeece Bros., a fourth-generation family-owned petroleum distributor in Southern California, to modernize its dispatch with FleetPanda.

“The app is very user-friendly. That’s a big reason why we were able to do something like that in three days. Here we are a year later using the system and going to continue adding more trucks,” Operations Manager Patrick McNeece said.

Compare that to the hardware-based dispatch systems of legacy providers. It may take a year or longer as your provider:

  • designs the architecture (expect delays);
  • orders the equipment (even more delays);
  • coordinates the installation (yep, more delays).

That doesn’t take equipment costs into account, either (more on that in a few sections).

White-glove implementation shortens time to ROI.

“Tech implementation is one area this market has been let down time and time again,” said Thomas Pellegrino, Business Developer Manager here at FleetPanda. That’s why we take a partnership approach that includes:

  • a defined timeline of all prelaunch work, including the creation of a clean record of data;
  • on-site platform setup to make sure your workflows and integrations are ready to go live;
  • in-depth training sessions with drivers, dispatchers, and the rest of your operations team.

After that, you get ongoing customer support. This white-glove approach to implementation sets you up fast ROI, all without the need for any deep technical expertise.

“It went much quicker and much smoother than we expected it to go. Within a matter of 10 days, we had trained all of our drivers at all three of our locations across Texas, and they were operational on the platform,” Carl Kleimann, Owner/Partner at Moffitt Services said of implementing FleetPanda.

But that’s not the case with legacy systems, which have longer sales cycles than cloud dispatch software. Combine that with a long implementation process (and scant support), and it’s easy to see why fuel marketers wait years to see ROI from legacy systems.

Subscription pricing saves you thousands, potentially millions in added costs

Here’s how pricing works with FleetPanda:

  • one-time implementation fee;
  • monthly subscription on your modules and number of users.

That’s it. No hidden fees. No long-term contracts. No equipment to buy, maintain, and eventually replace. And you only pay for the modules you use, so you’re not stuck paying for features that don’t drive value.

But many legacy providers charge added fees that start well ahead of implementation, like hardware costs. Implementing and maintaining a legacy system may also require contracting an IT company.

And because legacy providers sell long-term contracts, the sunk costs mount quickly. That could spiral to hundreds of thousands of dollars in added fees over the first contract or two.

Modular design customizes to how you run dispatch

Your operations are unique to your company. That’s why FleetPanda’s dispatch platform adapts to how you work. We take a consultative approach to help you:

  1. pick the modules and create the workflows that fit your existing practices;
  2. integrate with your back office and accounting to create a seamless flow of data across all your systems.

This level of customization helps your team get up and running with their new dispatch software like they’ve been using it for years.

Legacy software, on the other hand, tends to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead of adapting to how you work, it forces you into using rigid workflows with limited integrations. The culture shock slows implementation, making employees hesitant to adopt the new system.

Risk-free trials and pilot programs let you validate the software before committing

A risk-free trial lets you test dispatch software with a few trucks for a minimal fee. That way, you experience the value upfront at a low commitment.

During a free-trial with FleetPanda, you’ll get to:

  • see how the software works and use it in real time;
  • customize workflows to fit your operations;
  • integrate dispatch with your other systems.

A risk-free trial also relieves one of the biggest pains with legacy software. That is, signing a multi-year contract before battle-testing the product.

What implementation looks like with FleetPanda

FleetPanda is fully functional across your team in about 2–3 weeks. An example timeline could look like:

  • account creation within 48 hours;
  • data migration within 1–2 weeks;
  • on-site launch and training, one week per location.

Here’s a more detailed look at how dispatch software implementation happens with FleetPanda.

Phase I

Our data science team pulls together all your data from accounting systems, paper sources, and spreadsheets. This creates a single, clean record of data.

As a next step, we will scope out your existing workflows, your system architecture, and what integrations and the features you’ll need before going live. 

Phase II

Our team visits your site to train drivers and dispatchers on using the driver app and the dispatcher portal. This also includes ride-alongs with drivers. 

Phase III

We finalize all integrations and launch FleetPanda.

Take a tour of FleetPanda’s unified dispatch platform to learn how cloud-based dispatching makes your entire operations more efficient.

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